Hackery, Math & Design

Steven Wittens i

OSCMS Talk: Designer Eye for the Geek Guy/Gal

Update: I've posted the presentation slides and a video is available as well.

I'll be attending the OSCMS conference in Sunnyvale CA at Yahoo next month. Aside from a repeat of my DrupalCon jQuery talk, (though with a bit more examples) I just submitted another proposal for a talk. It's something that I've wanted to do for a while now:

In meetings and lectures across the globe, people are made to endure hideous presentation slides featuring some of the wildest colors, clip art and typography. Many websites are so confusingly laid out, that you get dizzy from the overload of boxes, images or links. And every day, people receive resumés, invoices and ads ... *cue lightning and thunder* set in the Comic Sans font.

It's enough to make the average designer's hair turn blue, fall out, morph into a ninja and stab him/her in the eyes.

But, all hope is not lost! Contrary to popular belief, graphical design is not some arcane voodoo magic, but a straightforward discipline that values experience, reusability, elegance and good tools just like programming. Just like code, there are plenty of objective ways to measure the quality of a design. However, just like art is subjective, so may two programmers disagree on which implementation is the best. No designer is born with a genetic sense of proportion... it's just that while you were busy writing BASIC code on your C64, they were busy drawing superheroes.

I myself am an engineering geek who's never had any sort of formal design or art training, but has earned the title of "design nazi" on numerous occasions.

This session will teach geeks some basic principles about graphical design (especially on the web), from a geek perspective. This means we won't talk about "visually balanced design" but "here's a good approach to spacing". Soon, you'll be hearing the oooh's and aaah's when you don your designer hat.

You can vote on the session page if you're interested.

CSS  Conference  Design  Drupal  OSCMS  UI
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